California is a huge state with plenty of options for you to tour. Here’s how to spend a week in the Golden State and what you can see while you’re there.
Day 1: San Francisco
Fly into San Francisco and rent a car. First, check out Golden Gate Park and see the Golden Gate Bridge. You can check out Fisherman’s Wharf for some fresh seafood and legendary clam chowder. If you have some extra time while you’re in San Francisco, check out the Muir Woods National Monument (make a reservation), which is just north. It’s home to acres of beautiful redwoods.
Day 2: Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite
A drive from San Francisco to Yosemite is about 4 hours (200 miles). Leave San Francisco early to make the most of the day. In general, the drive to the Big Oak Flat entrance takes at least four hours, but summer and weekend traffic can make it take longer.
Day 3: Yosemite Valley
You can spend the day touring Yosemite Valley to see Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. There’s plenty of hiking, like the 5.4 mile Mist Trail route. If you enjoy camping, there are some amazing campgrounds or can spend a night under the stars at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (make a reservation). If you have extra time, check out Lake Tahoe while you’re nearby.
Day 4: Yosemite to Los Angeles
Exit the Yosemite park via its southern entrance and drive south on Highway 41. Most of this trip is on Highway 99 south before using I-5 south, Highway 170 south, and then U.S. 101 south as you get closer to Los Angeles.
Day 5: Los Angeles
It’s time to hit the beach! In Los Angeles, you’re close enough to check out the Venice Boardwalk or the Santa Monica Pier. Maybe take a tour of celebrity homes or stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame to get a taste of California glitz and glamor. If you like theme parks and have some extra time, check out Disneyland or visit Palm Springs or San Diego.
Days 6 and 7: Big Sur
Carve out some time to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. Drive over Bixby Bridge, pull over at McWay Falls, and enjoy the rugged coastline on this epic drive. California offers plenty of options to explore the state. You can see the best of California using our Self-Guided Driving tour of California bundle featuring 12+ fun and engaging tours.